Greetings from the WET North Woods:

     Up here, you have to be careful what you wish for. After 2 weeks of NO RAIN, and dangerously dry conditions, we have had some rain every day for the past week, and it absolutely poured a couple of those. The lake has risen a few more inches, so Bill cranked up the new dock correspondingly today -- how easy that is, standing on top and cranking the bolt with a long pole, not even getting the feet wet. You have to understand that in the normal course of the summer, the water would have DROPPED many inches or even a foot. It's now thundering and raining, again!

     But what miraculous things are plants, taking these cycles all in stride, and turning from tiny seeds on June 1 and 2 into not only full grown plants, but ones with fruit, and for some, this happens in less than 2 months! We have been eating lettuce for several weeks, green beans for the past 10 days and the first tomatoes (grape variety) were eaten just yesterday -- I must admit that the tomatoes are bought as small plants, not seeds. After having turnip greens a week ago (from the plants that were not doing much on the bottom), we now have turnip bottoms that are 2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter on others. There are a couple of cukes on the vines ready to eat, and zucchini squash will be ready in another week. Rhubarb, ready even when we arrived in late May, has graced a couple of strawberry-rhubarb pies, one of my favorites and a standard up here. Now we're into native blueberries, a bumper crop!

     So, I've tried to convey the beauty of a growing garden with the attached pictures, the first with green beans, cukes, tomatoes (3 kinds), broccoli (a new attempt this year, with no heads appearing yet), 2 kinds of squash (zucchini and summer -- look at those showy yellow blossoms, which the bees love), and second plantings of beans and lettuce. The red in the background is an old stump planted with gorgeous nonstop begonias, with white petunias in the front. The next garden, a smaller one, has turnips (the bushy green things on the left), carrots, beets, lettuce, salad burnet (heard of this perennial? A first attempt this year.), with chives, rhubarb and young asparagus that will come up every year. The asparagus will take a couple more years before it produces edible size and quantity of spears.

     Then there are flowers, and what a joy they are too! I have planted perennials which will, without any effort on my part, come back every year with their resplendent displays. So, in the third picture are 2 potentillas, one with a light yellow blossom, and one a rich buttery yellow, flanking a Little Lamb hydrangea that is just beginning to open; the blossoms on this hydrangea will get huge, about 5-6 inches across, and will hang on until we leave in late Sept. and can be dried and used for flower arrangements. A juniper (Bill's request; alas, has no flowers!) is on the very right. The spikey purple on the left is liatris with Job's tears or spiderwort "beads" to the right a little. Jacob's ladder or false indigo, also in the foreground, was flowering when we arrived. And no flower garden is complete without a piece of dri-ki (Indian term for drift wood from the lake). This picture does not do these wonderful plants justice. I took it today, when it was a bit gray (before the rain)and the picture is too small to get good definition from each specimen -- you may be able to enlarge sections on your screen). These are foundation plantings on the back side of the house. When you live on a lake, the front side is the lake side, and the back side is the driveway side, so you can see a bit of the lake in the background.

     Next I should take a picture of this RAIN! Wish us some sunshine up here, please!!